I've made celebrating my one year anniversary of my illustration business into a bit of a series on my blog so I thought after harping on long enough, I'd give a few tips on starting your own business, and not just the self explanatory one like registering your business name or learning about taxes.
1. Get Some Money Behind You.
I cannot stress this one enough. You can't start a business with nothing, you need some money behind you (mine was the remainder of my student loan, I really miss SLC). You'll need to pay out for websites, marketing, stock, postage, all kinds of things you never even imagined before you can get anyone to pay for what you're selling,
2. Start Promoting Way In Advance.
I'd recommend setting up your social media accounts as the very first thing. Before you have a website, before you have stock, start promoting what you're doing, promoting what's coming, generating interest and getting a buzz going about what you have in store.
3. Be Talkative.
Talk to everyone and anyone on social media, especially likeminded people or people who get in touch with you. Be chatty, be friendly, start building up engagement and making contacts because chances are these people will be your first customers or people that will support your business. Follow everyone!
4. Create Stock In Advance.
This is vital. You won't have anything to sell if you haven't got your product set up before you launch and it doesn't matter what you're selling, the same rule still applies. Start with your stock and what you're selling first and get marketing second.
5. Launch With A Prize.
There is no better way of starting a business venture well than generating some sort of buzz on social media. Thinking about hosting a giveaway or competition when you launch will give you something to promote before the business goes live plus generating some sort of following PLUS you can get some valuable feedback on your product from the winner.
6. Grab All Your Social Media Handles.
I've mentioned this before in a few places but claiming all your social media handles, even if you don't plan on using them all is a life saver. Even if you don't use them right now, if you decide to use them in the future knowing your handle is safe rather than signing up only to find someone else claimed it. I'd recommend Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat and Youtube. Oh and obvs claim your domain name for your website.
7. Have A Really Solid Website.
It's basically the first impression of your business and if it's a bit shite it won't give off a good vibe to potential customers. Don't use a shitty free template, don't have advertising that isn't related, don't use word art or images that aren't yours and make sure all the links work. It's basic stuff but it's insane how many crappy websites I still click on.
Do you have any tips, conventional or otherwise for starting your own business?